The NCAA’s decision to suspend Indiana freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Pere and Peter Jurkin for the first nine games of the college basketball season is being widely panned.
The two rookies were ruled to have accepted extra benefits from AAU coach Mark Adams, who allegedly gave the two a cellphone, travel expenses, a laptop computer, etc., totaling more than $15,000.
These are not permissible benefits, however, for one reason only: Adams donated $185 to Indiana athletics over the course of seven years, from 1986 to 1992. What was that money for? According to Adams, they were yearly checks written by his wife to purchase IU alumni bumper stickers. As such, that small amount of money, given more than two decades ago, is the reason Adams is considered by the NCAA to be a “booster,” and why he is not allowed to pay for his adopted sons’ cellphone bills, and why Parea must pay back $1,590 and Jurkin $250 and why both must sit out IU’s first nine games of the season.
The common theory being tossed around is that this is the NCAA reaching out and smacking IU for their association with Adams. You see, Adams runs a foundation called A-HOPE — African Hoop Opportunities Providing an Education — that brings players from abroad to the United States to help them get an education and find a place to play college basketball. But, as was exposed in this ESPN investigation last April, there is plenty of smoke and all kinds of rumors floating around basketball circles about Adams’ relationship with IU and whether or not it is too close.
But that theory doesn’t exactly hold water.
If message-board fodder is all that it took to get a player suspended, Shabazz Muhammad would never play college basketball. Kyle Anderson wouldn’t, either. Anthony Davis probably would have been one of a handful of Kentucky recruits who went the way of Enes Kanter. Baylor would never get an elite prospect eligible, and the Canada-Findlay Prep-Texas pipeline would have been shut down a long time ago.